Windmill with Planetary gear rotating flat blades?

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 15, 2017
Has anyone seen a Vertical axis drag type ( flat blade ) windmill that rotates the blades according to its position so the return drag is gone?

I've tried googling but cannot find anyone who attempted to twist the blades so the returning blades ( against the wind ) run flat to not create any counter drag. Seems like someone would've tried this before.

If no one has heard of this already; then the next question is does anyone know off the top of their heads what size the Sun and Planetary gears should be to create a 1:1 of planetary gear position to rotation.

Not sure I'm explaining this well. The idea is to place a flat vertical blade tied directly to each of the three planetary gears and geared in such a way that the blades are flat with the wind on one side and then straight with the wind on the other (returning) side. Hope that makes sense.

Please share any comments, findings, knowledge etc.. on this subject; it'll be greatly appreciated .


Joined Nov 4, 2013
What you are describing sounds like a common track cam drive assembly that combine, swather, and other reel head type crop harvesting machines use to sweep the crop into the machine.

No planetary gears are required. Just a simple track that a cam lever on the end of each reel paddle assy follows.


Joined Sep 17, 2013
As I see it you need to turn a blade around its vertical axis through 90° while the mill as a whole rotates 180°. In other words the blade rate is half the mill rate, so a 1:2 gear ratio.


Joined Sep 30, 2009
Look into how a helicopter does it's blade movements. It's called a 'swashplate'. It's used in many car airconditioner compressor pumps and other axial pumps like many pressure washers too. Getting a junk pump like that and taking it apart would be a good start to understanding how they work.